HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Thomas Hardy, born 2 June 1840
“Poetry is emotion put into measure. The emotion must come by nature, but the measure can be acquired by art.”
There are many reasons to celebrate Thomas Hardy’s birthday. He is a brilliant novelist, creating the fictional county of Wessex and filling it with memorable and tragic characters. My favourite of his novels is Tess of the D’ Urbervilles but I’ve loved most of his fiction, and going to visit his birthplace and his home Max Gate outside Dorchester are very moving experiences.
However, most of all I love Hardy as a poet, which is where he felt himself that he was at his greatest. He wrote hundreds of poems, in a great variety of forms. Listen to Richard Burton read the wonderful poem Beyond the Last Lamp:
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